I finally faced one of my “fears” since becoming a mom. Traveling by airplane alone with my children. I’ve always admired how other mothers did this but … Oh my nerves.
We flew out to Los Angeles, my husband was already there on business so it made sense to go especially when I found the perfect ticket.
After some searching I decided to fly on Spirit Air. I know, I know, Spirit has horrible reviews all over the Internet and social media with horrific stories. But I already booked my ticket. I mean, seriously I was about to fly 4 people across the country for 300 USdollars. It seemed worth the risk, I just knew that I had to be prepared.
1. Remove the element of surprise
First and foremost I booked a direct flight. Less chance of delays in the middle of nowhere, cancellations that leave me stranded and lost luggage. I could strap the kids in and they could fall asleep.
I basically read every review, Instagram post with the #spiritsucks and a few that I won’t type here. Nothing really shook me up. I researched TSA laws and children and found that kids do. It have to take off shoes or jackets if they are under 12.
2. Pack light
This was easy considering that Spirit has bag size limits and if you want to avoid the cost of checking bags, or being charged for a carryon you’ll want to follow their personal item guidelines. Amazon has no shortage of backs that fit the new personal items requirements that were updated in Spring of 2017. A personal item bag is a bag that fits under the seat in front of you. (Treat it like a carryon)
The measurements are 18x14x8, this is small. Thankfully there are no shortage of reviews on Amazon.com so I found bags with reviews that included successful boarding on Spirit and Allegiant Air.
Since I’m flying alone, I wanted to get things that would have the kids super excited to carry their own luggage.
Here are the bags that we purchased that qualified as a personal item
(The images are affiliate links that will redirect you to amazon for current prices)
As you can imagine the twins were very excited about their new luggage, which made them excited to be on the airplane. I even took it a step farther and bought them pajamas and hoodies and neck pillows that matched their individual themes. Packing for kids is easy. It was my packing that was going to be a bit more of a challenge.
This bag below definitely surprised me it comes with 5 different compartments. believe it or not I was able to fit six outfits two pair of shoes, under clothes and night clothes in this bag, PLUS my make up, which I had to reduce to a smaller selection of the basics. I love my bag so if you are looking for something for an upcoming flight feel free to click the picture. There are about 20 different pattern variations to choose from.
The baby had all of his clothes for the trip packed in his diaper bag. Spirit does not consider a diaper bag to be an additional carryon. Thank goodness!! This was packed with drinks snacks candy and whatever else I could think of once we reached the terminal.
FYI: When I mentioned that Spirit charges you for everything, that includes water pack your own if you use this airline.
Our flight was at 6am which means being at the airport around 4:30am, so I brought my double stroller incase anyone got tired of walking and it was great for not being bogged down with bags. I still use my Chico Together stroller on the toddler setting. Best decision I made. I never had to watch where a child wandered off to. I was wearing the baby and pushing the twins in some moments. or pushing two kids and holding another by the hand.
The twins flew with tickets, and the baby travels as a lap infant mostly sleeping while attached to me in his Baby K’tan carrier. ( Note to self: I need to start wearing him on my back he is over 20lbs now) it made breastfeeding easier
Spirit warns that seats are assigned randomly at the gate so if you want to sit together you have to buy that privilege. I was happy to pay an additional 30 USdollars for peace of mind… and choosing seats close to the restroom where I can see/ be two places at once. Traveling with two four year olds on a 4 hour flight will definitely require potty trips.
Aside from the ease of the flight and finally being greeted by my husband in arriving flights one of the nicest surprises was working with Travelingbaby.com. After doing my research I was not comfortable renting carseats from the Car Rental agency. They are not held to any standard, meaning you could get a damaged or expired carseats (Yep they expire) So I was NOT about to strap my babies in anything no one would stand behind.
Travel baby has EVERYTHING you need while traveling. And they deliver, the items to you if you need. Well I needed delivery very much, so we could leave the aiport legally and safely. Their courier kept in touch with me via text and email to coordinate meeting at the airport and in the Car Rental Company. Wonderful high end car seart where we paid per day to rent. I’ve never dealt with a company with such great communication. I will be using Traveling Baby for EVERY trip from now on. They saved me a lot of work. You can reserve your baby items online in advance, and that’s what I recommend doing. The entire experience was seamless.
So, all in all I had a great traveling experience with my kids. I of course brought home some ear infections and coughs as souvenirs so now I’m treating all three kids. But we had an amazing trip. I can’t wait to do it again…. I would even fly Spirit again. It wasn’t bad, I knew what to expect and was prepared.